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How much do movers cost?

Cost depends on the size of your home and how far you're moving

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by Jessica Render ConsumerAffairs Research Team
two movers carrying boxes

How much does it cost to hire movers?

Hiring moves can cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars to $5,000 depending on how far you’re moving and how much work you’re willing to do yourself. The amount of personal property you’re moving also impacts your relocation budget. People hire movers to save themselves time and stress and to ensure that their move is managed professionally.

Average moving costs

The average cost for a local move under 100 miles is $80 to $100 per hour for two movers, but a long-distance move is significantly more expensive. On average, it costs $1,200 to $5,000 per move for more than 100 miles.

How much do movers cost for local moves?

For local moves within 100 miles, you can expect to pay movers by the hour. If you have two people handling the move, average moving costs should be between $80 and $100 per hour. A team of movers with more than two people cuts down on the number of hours, but you’ll have to pay for the extra labor.

Average cost to move a three-bedroom house

Moving a three-bedroom house will cost you between $600 and $1,000 if you’re making a local move and between $3,400 and $4,100 for a long-distance move. This is based on a moving weight of 10,000 pounds and doesn’t include extras, such as packing services.

Local move estimates can be measured based on the size of your home

Property sizeAverage weightNumber of hoursEstimated cost
1-bedroom home3,500 pounds3 to 5 hours$200–$500
2-bedroom home5,000 pounds5 to 7 hours$400–$700
3-bedroom home10,000 pounds7 to 10 hours$600–$1,000
4-bedroom home12,000+ poundsOver 10 hours$800–$2,000

How much does it cost to move out of state?

When you’re budgeting for a long-distance move, remember that you won’t pay by the hour with most moving companies. Instead, you’ll pay a flat fee based on your starting point, your ending point and the amount of furniture and other goods that you’re moving. Depending on your circumstances, you’ll pay between $1,200 and $5,000 for professional movers to take you more than 100 miles from your current home.

What affects your long-distance moving cost?

There are a few key factors that affect your total moving cost.

  • The size of your home: Moving a four-bedroom house costs more than moving a studio apartment. When movers give you a quote, they will ask how many bedrooms you’re moving and the square footage of your house to give you an idea of the expected cost, but they’ll need to do a walkthrough inspection of your home to give the most accurate estimate.
  • Location: If you live in an apartment building with a lot of stairs or a lack of close parking, you may be charged an extra fee for the inconvenience. Even a building with an elevator can cost you more, especially if you live on the 20th floor. Your neighborhood can also impact your price. Not all city streets are wide enough to make it easy to park a moving truck. Some movers will include a surcharge if they have to walk more than 75 feet from your home to the truck.
  • Distance and travel fees: For a long-distance move, the distance between your current and future home makes a significant difference in your total cost.
  • Extra stops: Making more than one stop will also cost extra, so expect to pay more if you’re loading items stored in your house and in a storage unit. There might also be a premium in metropolitan areas where labor is more costly.
  • Specialty items: Movers charge more for large, heavy or bulky items like pianos, grandfather clocks, delicate antiques and art. You’ll also need to factor in extra insurance, which might be required for certain items. Be prepared for some items that movers simply won’t move, like car batteries, pool chemicals and perishable items. You may want to move cherished personal items like family photos and heirloom jewelry yourself. It’s hard to put a price on those things, so consider making your own arrangements to transport them.

How much do moving services cost?

There will be extra charges for both local and long-distance moves if you choose to add on services.

  • Packing services: Full-service movers go beyond simple transportation and provide packing and unpacking services as well. If you want your movers to pack and unpack your home, plan on spending an additional $300 to $500. You’ll pay the labor by the hour, and there may be additional costs to cover supplies. The added cost could be worth it for the amount of time and stress you can save by not having to pack up your house yourself.
  • Storage: If you need to store your items in a portable storage container or a storage unit, don’t forget to factor that cost into your total moving budget. Storage services can be a handy solution when needed, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to a few hundred dollars each month your belongings are in storage, depending on the size of the unit or container you need.
  • Moving insurance: Moving insurance covers you if your items are lost or damaged during a move. The average cost for moving insurance is between 1% and 5% of the value of the insured goods. If you want to insure $10,000 worth of items, you can expect to pay between $100 and $500 in moving insurance.
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Moving cost FAQ

How much does a moving truck cost to rent?
Renting a moving truck for a DIY move can cost anywhere from $100 to several thousand dollars, depending on the specifics of your move. The truck size, the time it takes you to move, the distance you need to drive and gasoline prices all play a factor in the cost to rent a moving truck. A local move is likely to be pretty affordable and cost a few hundred dollars or less, while a cross-country trek will be significantly more expensive.
How much do moving boxes cost?
Different box sizes and styles cost different amounts. The size of your home and how you rank on the scale of minimalist to packrat will determine how many boxes you need. For the average three-bedroom home, we estimate boxes will cost around $450 if purchased brand new. This includes a mix of small, medium and large boxes plus wardrobe boxes and picture boxes.

You can save a significant amount of money by reusing old boxes and collecting boxes from friends, family or local stores that are willing to give you any they were planning to recycle. You can also opt out of purchasing specialty boxes like wardrobe boxes if you prefer. While these boxes make it easier to store and transport your clothing, you can also fold and store these items in regular boxes or large trash bags, especially for local moves.

How much do moving supplies cost?
Moving supplies include items such as bubble wrap, packing tape, packing paper and stretch wrap to protect furniture from damage. For a three-bedroom home, you can plan to add another $80 or so to your budget for these items.

Some cost-saving measures include using old newspapers in place of packing paper or bubble wrap, but you don’t want to skimp on protecting fragile items. It’s much cheaper to invest in bubble wrap than to replace an item if it breaks during a move.

How much do you tip movers?
We recommend tipping movers between 5% and 20%, but you are not required to tip your movers, especially if you were dissatisfied with their service.
How much does it cost to move a car?
You can expect to pay between $500 to $1,500 to ship a car long-distance. Transporting a vehicle is a special service not provided by typical movers. You’ll want to look for someone who specializes in auto transport.

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    Bottom line: How to calculate moving costs

    To calculate moving costs, you’ll need to factor in weight, mileage and labor costs. For a local move, you’ll be charged for labor by the hour, so the biggest factor will be how much stuff you have and how long it takes the movers to load and unload your boxes.

    Let’s say it takes eight hours for two movers to load and unload your three-bedroom house, with each mover getting paid $40 each per hour. $40 an hour for two movers puts your labor cost at $80 an hour, while $80 an hour for eight hours puts your total labor costs at $640 for the move. Add in any extras you’ll need, like charges for specialty items, stair fees or packing materials you’ll be buying from the company, to get your total estimated moving cost.

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    Profile picture of Jessica Render
    by Jessica Render ConsumerAffairs Research Team

    As a member of the ConsumerAffairs research team, Jessica Render is dedicated to providing well-researched, valuable content designed to help consumers make informed purchase decisions they can feel confident making. She holds a degree in journalism from Oral Roberts University.